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Continuous improvement – it’s a principle of Kaizen, or lean management, which encourages constant incremental advancements and uses past performance to suggest changes for future improvements. The coming new year is always a good time to reflect on the previous twelve months and look for new opportunities for improvement. With that in mind, here’s a recap of our informational offerings which we hope will help you achieve your goals for next year.

Flexibility

This year has seen remarkable changes, and one of the key elements to successful change management is flexibility. In February, we discussed how adaptability allowed ancient man to survive in hostile climates, and how it makes it possible for today’s facilities managers to handle the changing spatial needs of businesses and institutions. From telecommuting (August) to staffing fluctuations and workspace repurposing (January), adaptive furnishings are a good fit for agile organizations.

Proactive management

A proactive approach is one of the building blocks of continuous improvement, as well as a cost-effective way to manage change. Innovations in automation (February) help facilities and logistics managers monitor inventories and usage in real time, allowing them to respond to unexpected changes without any loss of throughput. A sound disaster recovery plan (September), including storage systems and inventory records that reduce or prevent loss, is the kind of forward-facing planning that supports business continuity and continuous improvement.

Efficiency

More efficient use of resources, whether it’s space, time, or finances, always results in better productivity – the ultimate goal of continuous improvement. When your facility can reclaim 50% of storage floor space with a mobile storage system or a vertical carousel system (October), that extra space can be utilized for more productive activities. RFID inventory management (August) lets retailers and logistics managers respond to unexpected demand with efficient JIT supply chains (July), with a resulting increase in sales productivity.

As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. A clear-sighted look at your organization’s productivity during the past year will show areas where you’re achieving continuous improvement, and areas where you can add flexibility, efficiency, and proactive management to take your processes to a new level in the new year.

 

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